Avian Influenza - Bird Flu FAQ
A few information that everybody should know:
What is Avian Influenza?
Because the name suggests, avian influenza refers back to the an infection caused by avian (bird) influenza (flu) viruses. These viruses are commonly present in intestines of wild birds and these birds can carry the viruses without getting sick. Nonetheless the viruses could be pathogenic to domesticated birds like chickens, geese and turkeys. Domesticated birds grow to be contaminated by means of exposure to different birds or by means of surfaces contaminated by secretions and faeces of the contaminated birds.
These viruses are categorized as Low Pathogenicity and High Pathogenicity. Most strains of Avian Influenza come under Low Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (LPAI) Group and produce mild signs within the infected birds. Frequent signs are ruffled feathers, decreased meals urge for food, decreased egg production, sneezing and coughing. Many times LPAI could go undetected.
High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza (HPAI) has more extreme symptoms which embrace sudden demise, loss of energy and urge for food, decreased egg production, respiratory problems, facial oedema (swelling), poorly fashioned eggs and diarrhoea. HPAI can reach a mortality rate of practically one hundred%.
What Is H5N1 strain of Chicken Flu?
All flu viruses are categorised as type A, B or C depending on their structural arrangement. Type A is liable for lethal pandemics and is present in each animals and humans. Type B causes local outbreaks of flu. Type C is the most stable of the three and infected folks show only delicate symptoms of flu. Type B and C are usually discovered only in humans. Type B and C are more stable than type A and will not be categorized based on their subtypes.
Influenza viruses of type A are divided into subtypes and the naming is completed on the premise of proteins (antigens) discovered on their surface - Hemagglutinin (HA) and Neuraminidase (NA). Sixteen types of HA and 9 types of NA exist. Thus a total 144 mixtures are possible.
Thus H5N1 is a type A virus and gets its name from HA 5 protein and NA 1 protein present on its surface.
How Do Type A Viruses Cause A Pandemic?
Type A viruses are additional labeled into strains. These strains can constantly evolve into completely different strains. Their ability to trade genetic material with different viruses and create new influenza viruses makes them unpredictable and difficult to combat with. Humans must develop new immunity (antibodies) every time new strains are created.
Viruses can not repair genetic damage, small adjustments known as "Antigen Drift", are repeatedly creating new strains of viruses. However when genetic materials from Type A viruses from different species - say a chicken and a human, comes together and merges, a completely new strain is created. This is known as "Antigen Shift" Humans don't have any immunity to such a strain and the strain can spread quickly inflicting a Pandemic.
How Is The Virus Transmitted To Humans From Birds?
Often Avian Influenza viruses don't infect humans. Migratory birds act as carriers of these viruses and do not get affected by them. These birds then come in contact with domesticated birds equivalent to chickens and turkeys and spread the infection to them. Domesticated birds may get the virus from contact with contaminated surfaces too. Once a virus infects domesticated birds, it will probably cause extreme epidemic among the birds. Humans come in contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces and pick up the virus.
Within the human body, this avian flu virus then undergoes an antigenic shift, combines with genetic material of a human strain of influenza virus and creates an entirely new strain of virus in opposition to which humans have little or no immunity. These genetic reassortments may happen is the body of a third species (vulnerable to each avian and human viruses) just like the pig, the place an avian influenza A virus and human influenza virus combine their genetic data and produce a new virus which is likely to be able to infect humans.
Why is H5N1 harmful?
The first reported cases of H5N1 infections have been detected in geese in 1997 in Southern China. A total of 18 human infections had been reported and 6 of them succumbed to it. The infection spread shortly to poultry in Hong Kong. At that time one million and half chickens had been culled in Hong Kong to keep the virus under control. The virus disappeared for just a few years, but resurfaced in 2002 in Hong Kong again. Since then it has killed hundreds of thousands of birds in Asia and plenty of cases of human infections have been reported.
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